Auckland to get second harbour crossing
Auckland will learn the time and route of the controversial second Waitemata Harbour Crossing tomorrow.
It is the second major transport announcement for Auckland in as many days, coming after confirmation the Government will back the building of the inner-city rail link.
Details of the second harbour crossing are tipped to be announced in Auckland tomorrow by Prime Minister John Key at the Chamber of Commerce as part of his major transport announcements.
However, Auckland Mayor Len Brown has said a proposed tunnel could cost between $3 billion to $4b.
The two-tunnel 3.5-kilometre connection from Westhaven to Onewa would have three lanes each way with potential for rail.
The Government had intended to reveal the decision on the new crossing at the same time it gave details on the rail link tomorrow - before they leaked out yesterday. The harbour crossing is expected to have provisions for rail.
A tunnel near to the existing Auckland Harbour Bridge is the prime contender for the crossing, though another bridge has not been ruled out.
The existing main Auckland Harbour Bridge is nearing capacity. There is already a second bridge at Greenhithe.
The Government is believed to have accepted Auckland Council's view the rail link and second crossing come as a "package" transport project.
Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI), the Puhoi-Wellsford road of national significance, and the Penlink, which would connect Whangaparaoa and the Northern Motorway, are also believed to be part of the package announcement.
The Government is believed to be investigating a private-public partnership for the Puhoi-Wellsford project.
Key yesterday confirmed the Government would back the building of the inner-city rail link, but is proposing it start in 2020, five years later than Auckland Council's target.
Brown's pet project, estimated to cost $2.86b, was signed off by the Auckland Council in May last year, but Key yesterday would not say how much the Government would contribute and would spell out more details in the speech tomorrow.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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